Police: 2 officers fired shots that killed man
Waycross police chief refers all questions about fatal shooting to GBI
In his first statement since Friday afternoon''s fatal shooting of a 43-year-old suspect, the Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said two officers responding to a report of a suicidal man repeatedly ordered him to drop weapons before they opened fire.
Tanner said Jack Roberson "regrettably" died at the scene from his injuries.
According to police, the officers were told before arriving that Roberson had become combative and was damaging property. Tanner said the officers entered the home on Reed Street about 4:30 p.m.
"The officers yelled repeatedly for Mr. Roberson to stop and drop the weapons. Mr. Roberson gained ground on the officers and raised one of the weapons in a threatening manner toward the officers. Both officers fired to stop Mr. Roberson from assaulting them," Tanner said.
Tanner did not say the nature of the weapons Roberson was holding and did not take any questions from reporters.
The officers were placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The police account of the events is disputed by Roberson's family, who says Roberson was not suicidal, adding that his fiancee called 911 because he was in distress after swallowing several pills to treat his diabetes.
"I was here -- and my son was coming from the kitchen. He saw the officer over there. The officer didn't say anything. My son raised his hands," Diane Roberson said. "The officer took his gun, fired -- one, two, three. I heard four shots. My son fell. Nothing in his hands."
"They didn't say anything," said Roberson's fiancee Alicia Herron. "They didn't pull their Taser out. They didn't shoot him in the leg, the arm. They went straight for his chest."
The family says it is looking into hiring a lawyer.
This is the second police-involved shooting by Waycross officers in 18 months.
In April 2012, 26-year-old Andrew Poole was shot by officers looking for a murder suspect in a Garlington Heights apartment. Poole was not the suspect.
While that GBI investigation is ongoing, investigators said the officer felt a threat before opening fire.
Poole's family said he was not armed when he was shot.
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